More Than One-Quarter of British Regularly Use Net

More than one-quarter of the adult residents in the UK have used the Internet in the past month, according to the CommerceNet/Nielsen Internet and E-Commerce Survey.

The research found that of the 12.5 million British adults (27 percent of the population) that have used the Internet in the past month, 44 percent log on every day, 38 percent are women, and 11 percent are over 50 years of age.

Among the findings of the survey:

  • 72 percent use the Web for work-related activity
  • 69 percent use the Web to research travel destinations
  • 60 percent use the Web to check sports and entertainment news
  • 52 percent use the Web for international news
  • 40 percent use the Web to access information about the local community

As far as e-commerce is concerned, 27 percent of those surveyed have purchased goods online, whereas 49 percent have used the Web to compare the price of goods and services.

“The Internet users’ demographic profile in the UK today is very similar to that of North America two years ago,” said Jerome Samson, Director of Technology and Business Strategy at Nielsen Media Research. “UK Internet users, however, are embracing e-commerce much more rapidly than users in North America did in 1997. Online consumers in the UK today are reaping the benefits of a more mature industry and seem to face a faster learning curve. This level of e-commerce adoption is extremely encouraging for its development worldwide.”

Earlier research by BMRB found that 1.9 million Internet users made an online purchase in the last six months, an increase of 600,000 users from December of 1998.

The CommerceNet study defines Internet users as persons 16 and over that have used the Internet at least once in the month preceding the interview and still having access at the time of the interview. Interviews were conducted in September 1999 with a statistically representative sample of more than 4,700 persons age 16 or over in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The study as sponsored by US Web/CKS, Microsoft, Magex, and the iCat division of Intel.

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